December Thoughts: Brace Yourself.

Back in mid-October, I started back with CrossFit and Half Marathon training. It happened on a whim.  A lot of whimsical stuff happened around that time. One could blame it on the full moon but that’s another story for another time.

Around this time of year, marathons crop up. I suppose the excitement  lead me to more running than usual. I am pairing the CrossFit with running for crosstraining purposes. I have been going to CrossFit on strength days twice a week; For the run, I run once during week and perform a long run each Saturday with a training group.

Kid you not, my running store sponsors a FREE half marathon the first Saturday of January every year. It’s the Red Nose Half Marathon. That’s right, a free half marathon that is about 5 miles away from my house.

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(FREE !! FREE!!!! FREE!!!!!!!)

 

I do have a lingering thought. It’s really cold outside. For example, tomorrow morning’s long run of 11 miles begin with 29 degree weather.  Wouldn’t be cool to celebrate half marathon training by….sleeping in race day? Think about it.

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(It could be fatique talking. Quiet as it’s kept, I really think it’s the dude on the right talking mess.)

 

I’ve been easing away from the vegetarian lifestyle by eating tuna fish a few times a week to up my protein. Those little Bumble Bee Tuna and Crackers are tasty. I only like the Thai flavored ones. That’s the only seafood I like right now. I don’t have any interest in going back to white meat or red meat.

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(It’s delicious!)

I want to get back into meal prepping. Right now seems impossible, but I want to resume doing so after December 16th when I am on Christmas Break from my full time and part time teaching jobs.

 

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(The Bookworm just finished reading Outliers. Here is her favorite quote from the book:)

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

Forget Meat.

Yeah. I said it.

People who know me personally, know I rarely get sick. WELL, I have had 2 digestive issues this year from meat consumption. It is leading me back into to the vegetarian lifestyle. Like the last time, the entire transition should take a couple of months.

I was vegetarian for two years. I dropped it when I started CrossFit. During this time, I strived to eat meat once a day. I would forget to eat meat  over half  the time.

The Past Two Weeks:

The Good: I have successfully abstained from meat flesh. I have been using meat substitutes. So far, I like the Quorn brand of plant based chicken nuggets and hamburger meat.

At home I have  stopped eating food derived from animals (chicken broth).

There were a few social settings where I simply  chose to “pregame” by eating before I arrived. From there, I just ate lightly.

The Bad: My junk food intake has been high during this time period. I see how people become junk food vegetarians. There’s a lot of junk food that is vegan/vegetarian friendly.

The Challenge:  I am still trying to get used to visiting the grocery store more often, meal prepping, and cooking more often.

The Plan:  Eat 1 salad and 1 green smoothie daily. That seems easy right?! Meh, but I’m making it happen. I’m also backing away from the junk food.  As usual, I will keep you posted!

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(Proceed with caution!!!)

Eureka!!!!!!

GOOD NEWS: It is a teacher in-service day, and also my last work day of the school year! I got the idea to workout during my lunch break today!

BAD NEWS: Today’s WOD is Murph….

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Hopefully this trial run plays out well so that I could do this on other in-service days. For those that don’t know, teacher in-service tends to be chock full of meetings. This can make for a long work day, even though the hours are the same. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a teacher (math teacher at an alternative school), I have always envied people with other jobs/careers that are blessed with this option. Seriously, even a lunch break power walk is out of the question for the average educator.

I changed my WOD workout time from 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. about a month ago. I plan to maintain this for days when students are scheduled to report to school.  It takes prior planning and organization, but it works for me because it provides enough time for me to also  (power) walk my dog and shower. Right now, I am getting up at 4:45 a.m.; but when the school year resumes I may choose 4:30. I would like to walk my dog first, so that I have time to put on makeup and jewelry.

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(A little after WOD grub. I will drink the shake en route back to work, then eat the salad when I get there. Don’t worry, I have more food around if this isn’t enough.)

Podcast Favorites!

I am really impressed with how Apple itunes Podcast have evolved. I listen to several on a daily basis. I tend to do this when I get home to tidy, cook, and dog walk. It enables a smooth transition from work to home life.

I increase the speed of the podcast of those that tend to talk slowly, have a regional drawl, or doesn’t require deep thought.

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Here is a list of podcasts that I regularly listen to. What do you all listen to?

Health/Fitness

No Meat Athlete

Squats and Espresso

Nom Nom Paleo

Work Related

How I Teach

Personal Growth

Happier With Gretchen

Real Simple

Joel Olsteen

Dave Ramsey

The Art of Charm

Entertainment

This American Life

Yo, Is This Racist?

Waste Not, Want Not.

Hey gang!

I am still on the food prep kick. At this point, It takes about an hour on Saturday, and about 30 minutes on Sunday. The number one benefit is that it has lowered my grocery bill significantly.

For example:

I almost always go through 2 tubs of raw spinach each week for smoothies, salads,  and eggs. For whatever reason, I only went through 1 tub this week, and the other tub was at risk of spoiling. I can’t have that happen. A tub of spinach is about 5 to 6 dollars in my area. So I put it in my blender with some almond milk, poured it in a ice tray, and in to the freezer it went.

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(2 cubes will go into the blender for 1 smoothie)

I also had baby carrots that also had a few days left before the expiration date. I don’t like feeling pressured to eat anything. Like spinach, carrots have a complementary taste in juices and smoothies. I googled around and referenced this site. So we will see how frozen carrot cubes will play out this week in my smoothies (I will keep you posted).

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(I used carrots, water, and my blender. If you make stocks/broths this process could work for you as well,)

WARNING:Prepare food that you look forward to, or else food prep will probably be counter-productive.

It Was a HIT!!!!

The Salad in a Jar was a hit. I poured mine onto a plate, and I did not have to shake it. The video below is helpful if you would like more information about the Salad in a Jar process.

For mine, I used what I had around. I listed the ingredients in the order that I put them in the mason jar:

  • Italian Ranch
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Crock-pot Shredded Chicken (Can of salsa, 3-4 pack of chicken breast, 6 hours)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Spinach (If you don’t have a taste for a cold salad, the spinach enables you to heat the entire meal in the microwave.)

This is Easy: Muffin Pan Eggs

I was freaked out at how the eggs rose, but they fall after cooling for a few minutes. The best part was that it has a cheesy middle. 

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Eyeball the following:

4 eggs

A lot of liquid egg whites

A large handful of cheese

Raw broccili finely diced

Olive oil spray for the the muffin pan

Directions

Whisk away.

Spray the muffin pan.

Fill liquid into the pan.

Cook 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Back to Work/New School Year/Consistent Habits

Sometimes  when the new school year begins, I temporarily drift off from healthy eating and consistent exercise. So far, I have had a smooth transition. Right now, I haven’t felt like running. However, I go to Crossfit 3-4 times a week. Throughout the summer, I often went 3 times a week. I went 4 times this week, and I didn’t t feel “broke down”. I think I will stick with this workout routine for a while. So here is my eating routine right now:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, almonds, and  coffee (holds me until lunch time with ease)

At Work:  Vitamin pack and a lot of water

Lunch: Chicken breast sandwich, raw veggies, a few tablespoons of ranch dressing

Snack: Can range anywhere from a Quest bar, to scrambled eggs , to  a few handful of Cheetos. I want to do right and stick with a 1/2 cup of almonds from here on.

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Exercise: Pre-workout and Protein shake

Dinner: Whatever my mind tells me to eat. Regardless if it is healthy or not, I am usually pretty sensible with the portions. I want to get more consistent though. I am currently looking for crock-pot meals to solve this sort-of problem.

I need ideas. What have you all been consistently eating that is pretty healthy? I will keep you guys posted.

 

 

I Don’t Want a Stupid Salad.

Today’s blog post is inspired by the following:

Today is a rainy day in my city. I have a habit of ordering a pizza whenever it rains. It is a treat for both myself and my Labrador retriever. The problem, this particular day, is that I went to the grocery store that morning, and bought a bunch of healthy stuff.

We all know that healthy eating (choosing most of your items along the store’s perimeter) can be quite expensive (if you do this regularly). So for me to buy a pizza the same day I choose to grocery shop would be silly. The problem is that I had no desire to eat any of the stuff that I purchased.

So I thought to myself to “go ahead and make a salad”. My illogical retort was I don’t want a stupid salad”. Then I weighed the pros and cons and grudgingly made the salad. Yes, I continued the thought “I don’t want a stupid saladas I created the salad. I ate the salad. It was good and I saved my hard earned money. The end.

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The salad dressing of choice is Amy’s Balsamic Vinaigrette.